SALEM, Ind. — Indiana freshman football player Caleb Murphy has had a lot of time on his hands after spring football was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He's been home in Salem in southern Indiana, and he's been working on his golf game just to stay busy.
On Sunday, though, he had a once-in-a-lifetime moment at Western Hills Golf Course in his hometown, playing with his father, Todd. He made his first ever hole-in-one — and it came on a par-4 no less!
Murphy, a defensive end who graduated early from West Washington High School and enrolled at Indiana in January as part of the Hoosiers' 2020 recruiting class, said he cut the corner on the 344-yard dogleg right second hole. He's done it before, he said, and has hit the ball near the green.
This time, he did a little better. Murphy, who said he's an 18-handicapper, hit a perfect drive over the trees, "about 290 yards in a straight line,'' he said. He hit it well, but he didn't know how well.
"No, I couldn't see it because there were a lot of trees in the way,'' Murphy said via text. "We looked for the ball forever because we knew it should’ve been close to the green. I ended up laying another ball down, and we both chipped onto the green.
"They were both gimme’s and when I picked them up I saw a ball in the hole. I told dad he had to come look, and sure enough, it was my ball.''
Murphy said he's been working on his short game to stay busy, but he was certainly very excited about this magical moment. So was his dad, who's still waiting on his first hole in one.
"He was excited, too. He said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sure.''
Murphy said he was so excited that he didn't play very well the rest of the way on the 9-hole course. Still, it's a day he'll never forget.
Murphy gets back to football next week when he can return to campus for voluntary workouts. He'll certainly have a good story to tell.